Blue storms depress growth of shortleaf pine in western Arkansas and eastern OklahomaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Climate and weather, especially storms, have major effects on trees. Fast moving “Alberta Clippers,” or Blue Storms, that produce extreme cold and little precipitation happen each year on the Great Plains in association with Chinook winds in the Northern and Central Rockies. When these storms occur between February 13th and March 10th when shortleaf pines on the Ouachita National Forest are becoming active, characteristic narrow growth rings are left in the wood. Prior to February 13th, growth is not affected by cold temperatures; after March 10th when trees are fully active, a frost ring is produced. Only between these two dates is growth reduced without the production of a frost ring.